The DECMATE II shared the same case, power supply unit and RX50 dual floppy drive as the Rainbow 100 and was sold as a desktop or tower stand system. Like DECMATE I and III, it was a member of the PDP-8 family based on the Harris 12-bit 6120, a single chip PDP-8 compatible microprocessor.
The same year, DEC launched the Rainbow 100, a Z80/8088 based system to compete with CP/M and MS-DOS machines, as well as the PDP-11 Professional system.
The DECMATE II was the Decmate series most versatile system. Customer could choose between either one or two dual 5.25" floppy disc drives, or a 5, 10 or 20 MB hard disc, or even 8" floppy drives. Several option boards were also available. Among them, a Z80 card for CP/M compatibility and a graphic board allowing a color monitor to be used.
Digital corporation provided a large range of professional software. However, the Decmate II was mainly used for professionnal word processing, connected to a serial letter quality printer.
The DECmate computer systems all required a bootable 5.25 inch floppy diskette which contained the OS as well as the WPS software. They could also run the COS310 Operating System which after some modification by Digital Research Corp. became CP/M. With the addition of the Z80 board, they were able to run MS-DOS. As the only authorozed dealer in Southern California, I and my staff had great sales experiences with it. Incredibly, we still have some in inventory, as well as brand new DECmate IIIs.
Wednesday 25th April 2012
Iwin Zane (USA)
@Steve: In order to run CP/M on this machine, you needed to get the Z80 expansion card with 64k RAM. This allowed this machine to use CP/M AND run most PDP 8 software.
Thursday 1st June 2017
Chuck (United States)
Actually, CP/M PREDATES the DECMATE WPS series! The system was certainly not like CP/M. Digital AKA DEC, was not related to Digital Research. Digital Research CP/M required an 8080 processor. The Z80 was 8080 compatible, but the PDP 8 was NOT. CP/M did NOT support the 8086 series of processors, like those MSDOS did.
Thursday 19th January 2017
Digital Equipment Corporation
END OF PRODUCTION
BUILT IN LANGUAGE
Full-stroke 106 keys with 20 function keys, editing and numeric keypads
12 bit Harris 6120
4 or 8 MHz
80 chars x 25 lines
None in Basic version
Monitor, Serial, Printer
BUILT IN MEDIA
1 or 2 x RX50 dual 5.25'' floppy disc drives Optional 5, 10 or 20 MB hard disk